Susan J. Pickhardt

Susan J. Pickhardt

As 2014 draws to a close, I want to share some thoughts on the blessing that the Klote organization with its representative brought to St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Rochester. Although I was not part of the Steering Committee, my husband was and, through him, I had the opportunity to learn more about the process and to spend quality time with the consultant.

When the needs at St. Thomas’ became so evident and critical that a capital campaign was a high priority, Fr. Craig did a serious search of advisors and the Ad Hoc Committee and the vestry made a very wise decision to go with you. The next significant decision was to request our consultant. As you may be aware, the congregation was more than highly skeptical of the ability to raise significant funds within our parish. The thought of raising 2 million dollars was considered a fool’s errand. However, through his faith, commitment and belief in the parishioners of St. Thomas’ to prayerfully engage in the process, our consultant moved us all forward. His approach to fundraising, which is the Klote way I assume, is so respectful, spiritual and comfortable that it made those of us not comfortable with asking for money able to follow his direction and connect with fellow parishioners in ways not expected.

Although completing a successful capital campaign is always a goal, this campaign under the leadership of the consultant has been so much more. He has left us so much better than how he found us. I believe this experience has been transformative for St. Thomas’ in many ways. We have achieved something no one thought we could. We have connected and interconnected with parishioners in significant ways and learned things about each other that have increased mutual bonds. We have learned new ways of relating and engaging in the work of the parish, and many of us are committed to keeping this going so that this past six months is the beginning of a newly revitalized parish and commitment to continue doing the Lord’s work within the parish and the broader community with a lighter heart and a strong sense of joy.

In the time he was here, the consultant became family. His participation in the diverse activities of the parish was amazing. From participating in our 125th Anniversary historical walk to attending an evening presentation on the Impact of Poverty on Rochester’s Children, he immersed himself in our lives. What a gift he is! We miss him and greatly treasure the time he was with us. Words cannot fully convey what he meant to St. Thomas’ and the positive impact he had and will continue to have as we try to live up to all he taught us.

I send my blessings and appreciation to you and the special consultant for the experience and connection to the Klote Organization in 2014 and wish you well as you continue to do the Lord’s work in other parishes.

-Susan J. Pickhardt
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
Rochester, New York
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